Is the president’s salary for life

The controversy surrounding the president’s salary for life has been simmering since Gerald Ford put in an executive order to extend provisions of a law passed during the Kennedy administration, Public Law 87-849. That law was designed to protect the office of the president after Kennedy’s assassination. It went into effect on January 20, 1964, requiring Secret Service protection for ten years following the president’s death and continuing “while he holds office as President and for one year thereafter.”

Yes, the president’s salary is for life.

The President of the United States is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces. The president is indirectly elected by the people through an Electoral College to a four-year term, and is one of only two nationally elected federal officers (the other being Congress).

The president’s salary is set at $400,000 per year. This amount was increased in 2001 by Congress to reflect increases in average private sector wages and salaries during that period. It has not been changed since then.

The Constitution does not specify whether or not the president receives a pension upon leaving office, but it does state that if he or she serves for less than four years, there should be no pension awarded.

Is the president’s salary for life


With so many perks and benefits, it’s not entirely absurd to ask if the president’s salary is for life. First of all, there are some significant benefits that former presidents receive as part of their role in office. These include a pension, an annual expense account, travel funds, and free postage for mailing letters domestically and overseas. In addition to these benefits, former presidents also get full Secret Service protection for the rest of their lives.

The president is not technically paid for life.

As we’ve seen with some presidents, such as Jimmy Carter and Herbert Hoover, the president’s salary is only paid while in office. The president’s salary is set by Congress and can be changed at any time. In fact, Congress has increased the presidential salary three times since 1969: once in 1974 ($200K to $350K); again in 2001 ($400K to $400K); and most recently in 2009 ($400K to $400K).

Presidential salaries have not always been this high; in fact, they were lower until 1969 when they were first established at $100,000 per year (about $570k today). Prior to 1969 there was no official presidential salary; instead presidents would receive money derived from funds like a presidential pension or gifts that citizens gave them during their terms of office. For example: President George Washington received gifts totaling $25k over his two terms (which would be about half a million dollars today) while President Franklin Pierce received less than half that amount as he served only one term before dying shortly afterward

Annual salaries of U.S. presidents

As of 2019, American presidents receive a salary of $400,000 per year. This is one of the highest salaries in the world for national leaders. However, it has been argued that this pay is not enough to cover all the expenses associated with being president.

The first occupant of the office was George Washington and his salary was $25,000 annually—a sum which he refused to accept because it was far more than he had made as commander-in-chief during the American Revolution. After Washington’s time as president ended in 1797, Congress increased presidential salaries by $2,500 every four years until 1873 when they voted to give future presidents an annual salary of $50,000 (some sources say this happened in 1871). In 1909 Franklin Delano Roosevelt made an amendment increasing presidential salaries from $50K annually down again across all future administrations up until 2013 when Barack Obama signed into law HJ Resolution 25 which capped out at what remains today: about three times more than what most Americans earn annually despite inflationary pressures over their lifetimes having increased significantly since then!

But the president can get a lot of other benefits

  • Free postal privileges.
  • Free travel on Air Force One, the presidential jet. Air Force One has been called “the ultimate office space” by former President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush. It’s equipped with a conference room, sleeping quarters, a medical suite (including an operating room), and much more.
  • Secret Service protection for life.*Pension: The president’s pension is based on his salary as of January 1st in year he leaves office; if he retires before that date and has served at least two years, then retirement benefits start immediately; otherwise they will begin when he reaches age 62 or qualifies for Social Security.[15]

Still, the president has much to gain

Still, the president has much to gain for his service. He or she retains the prestige and high public profile of a former president, enjoying continuing use of the presidential library and retreat facilities. The former president also gains continued opportunities to write books, columns and other media; serve on corporate boards; make public appearances as a paid speaker; receive foreign government payments (which are not counted in personal income); and become an advisor or consultant to businesses or non-profits.

Former presidents are given many benefits for life, but not an annual salary.

For example, former presidents are given a pension equal to the rate of pay for cabinet secretaries. According to CNN Money, this amount is currently $207,800 per year.

The Office of Personnel Management also provides a detailed list of other benefits provided by the government to former presidents. These include staff and office space, travel expenses and postage allowances. According to OPM’s website: “While in office, the President has an official effect on all federal agencies; as such he remains eligible for coverage under their health insurance plans after leaving office.”


With the recent passage of the Presidential Allowance Modernization Act, a new law requiring presidents to disclose their taxes before receiving a salary, it is clear that there is still doubt about what constitutes “income” and who should be taxed accordingly. In some cases, you may find yourself wondering if your favorite president ever took home more than what he earned as president. Fortunately for all Americans interested in this topic, we can now take a look at how much money each former president made during his term(s) to determine whether or not they were overpaid.

Leave a Reply